“I’m not gonna save Iris from Savitar…you are.”
Those were Barry’s words to Wally last week when Central City’s first speedster realized Kid Flash would be the key to keeping Team Flash’s favorite CCN reporter—Iris West—alive. Of course, if Iris continues getting herself into life-or-death situations, she may not make it to the finale. (Okay, so that may be a slight exaggeration…)
Accepting the fact that he won’t be fast enough to save Iris come May, Barry begins Speedster Training 101 with Wally. Though he’s got the speed down, some of the finer tricks such as phasing aren’t yet in his wheelhouse. Unfortunately for Wally, Clive Yorkin’s plan don’t involve giving Team Flash much time to work out the kinks as the man with the death’s touch starts ticking names of his list of bad and, when Joe slips out of his fingertips, Iris becomes the unfortunate target and, after Yorkin’s touch, it becomes a race against time for the crew to stop Yorkin and save Iris from the inevitable decay of death’s touch.
Despite some fantastic powers and a cool tie-in with Flashpoint—Yorkin’s tracking down the cops that took him down there—our “Meta-of-the-Week” is somewhat of a throwaway. We never get any true explanation about this purported pain the CCPD officers caused him, relegating Yorkin to a forgettable arc. But infecting Iris with his touch does bring about some good character moments from Team Flash and there are so many words of encouragement littered throughout “Untouchable” that the episode title could have been renamed “Pep Talk Palaver”.
Starting with the still-learning Wally, his guilt at not being able to save Iris from Yorkin’s touch sparks Barry’s own realization about how he’s teaching Wally. He promises the youngest West to be there for him, just like Wells and the other speedsters have been there for Barry. And Barry’s conviction to be an inspiration of hope pays off in the end when both he and Wally perform phasing stunts beyond what they thought themselves possible.
While Wally’s phasing is integral to his continued mastery of the Speed Force, another major development this week was Iris’s decision to come clean about her death to Joe. He reacts like anyone would expect: hurt, upset, and scared but, in the end he knows that, for them to be successful they all have to work together and secrets will only hinder that prospect.
And then we have the biggest development: It’s been a couple weeks since Julian joined Team Flash and his dour bedside manner has rubbed every other member the wrong way at one point or another. Unfortunately for her, Caitlin, as the most level-headed member of the Team, has tried to play buffer for the others. She’s been trying to help Julian realize just how bad his interpersonal skills are to no effect.
To stave off Yorkin’s death touch from decaying Iris, Caitlin uses her Meta abilities to slow down the state of decay and, at one point, nearly Frost’s out. It’s Julian, though, who is able to talk to her, help her rein in the Killer Frost desperately trying to claw her way out. Julian sees a strength in Caitlin he believes he lacks but, after the day is won (Wally phases his speedster blood into Yorkin’s system, negating his death touch abilities), she offers him words of encouragement. I don’t think you’re weak because of what happened to you with Savitar,” she says. “The strength that I found to stay in control, that came for you.” It’s what he needed to hear at that moment and she tops it off by asking him out for a drink. Yes: Caitlin and Julian getting drinks together. You may say it’s an innocent drink but, judging by their interactions over the past few weeks, it just may be something a bit more.
Skimming over Iris and Barry’s episode ending talk on the couch—nothing new there—the post-credit scene is Wally testing out his newly minted phasing abilities when Jesse Quick barrels in from Earth-2, desperation in her eyes. “Grodd,” she says, “he has my dad. He has him in Gorilla City.”
So yeah…it’s high time we get our Season Three glimpse of the almighty Grodd. (In two weeks…)
- In regards to Flash villains, sometimes the magic works (nod to Terry Brooks) and sometimes it doesn’t. Clive Yorkin (I could not find a cool name for him listed in the DC world of comics) has some beastly powers and “Untouchable” had some good visuals to show them off. But Yorkin himself was pretty plain. Now, he could be back somewhere down the line but he was almost like the Mcguffin (we’ve seen a few of those type of characters over the years). His appearance not only forced Iris’s hand in telling Joe about her death but Caitlin had to face her fears of becoming Killer Frost, Barry upped his own abilities (phasing an entire freaking train!), Wally took the next step towards being ready for Savitar, and even Cisco discovered he could Vibe alternate realities. In truth, everyone stepped up their game, touching a part of their inner selves they didn’t realize they could reach.
- We’ve heard about Cecile’s daughter Joanie a few times but we—along with Joe, Barry, Iris, and Wally—meet her for the first time over a bit of Jitters coffee. The Jitters gathering is the biggest glimpse of levity we see in the episode as Joanie’s Kid Flash fangirlishness puts Joe in a very awkward situation when she asks who he thinks is better—the Flash or Kid Flash. As we get deeper into the season, moments like these will be fleeting but, man, watching Joe squirm and the friendly banter between our two speedsters always brings that welcome bit of lightheartedness a lot of shows lack nowadays. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.